However, there is one area where a much more unequivocally positive appreciation of Foucault’s significance for geographers of sexuality is called for, and that is his discussion of sexual identity; or, rather, sexual subjectivity. For Foucault’s approach, elaborated in the later volumes of the History of Sexuality, but also in a variety of statements elsewhere on contemporary gay politics and culture, make it clear that whilst sexual identities were indeed produced and ‘deployed’, there was nevertheless considerable room for manoeuvre, a space in which individuals and communities could explore alternative kinds of sexual subjectivity (Foucault 1997a–d). It is not simply that identities might be resisted and reclaimed, through a ‘reverse discourse’, though this is important. It is moreover that sexual radicals could experiment with desire and pleasure, culture and community, in short a whole field of ethical relationships with oneself and others that the term ‘sexuality’ does not even begin adequately to represent. It is for this reason that Foucault dedicated such effort to an exploration of antiquity, for he found there, in an age as it were ‘before sexuality’, ethical models of conduct that challenge our own culture’s social and political norms (Larmour, Miller and Platter 1998). Whether or not we should endorse any or all of these models – Foucault’s discussion of askesis is the most prominent – the point remains that Foucault redirects our concerns away from the issue of sexual identity towards a discussion of the variety of practices by which we recognize ourselves as sexual subjects. This sounds very abstract, but it has clear implications for contemporary sexual politics. Foucault’s work has suggested to many for instance that a politics based on essentialized sexual identities – ‘gay’, say – is limiting, exclusive, and politically vulnerable (Watney 2000, 50–62; Halperin 1995). Foucault makes it clear that he is fully appreciative of the gains made by marginalized sexual minorities in the contemporary era, and concedes that an emphasis on a (natural) sexual identity has been politically useful in the past. But he has forcefully made the case that resistance should entail a refusal of the discourse of ‘sexuality’ that we have inherited from (at least) the Victorians. It is for this reason that, after initial suspicion and denigration, Foucault has become of such central importance to contemporary sex radicals. In gay politics, and in queer theory or theories in particular, Foucault’s work has been strikingly influential. Geographers of sexuality have also made significant contributions to this politics and this theory (Bell and Binnie 2000; Binnie 2004; Binnie and Valentine 1999; Brown 2000)